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Young cast showcasing classic Dickens’ tale Oliver Twist

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A cast of 38 up and coming performers is starring in Howick Children’s and Youth Theatre’s (HCYT) production of the classic Charles Dickens story Oliver Twist.

It’s adapted by Jeremy Brock and directed by Kelly Raos.

HCYT principal Fiona Bailey says the cast is comprised of actors aged nine to 14 years old and they’ve been working hard in preparation for the two-day production.

“They have amazing characterisation coming through with the use of accents, which is fantastic.

“There’s both the cockney accent for the ‘common’ characters, and the more upper-class English accents.”

The classic Dickens’ story is set in the UK and Bailey says it centres on Oliver, a young boy whose mother dies during childbirth.

“He’s put into a workhouse and then works for an undertaker. He runs away to London and is taken in by Fagin and his gang, who are basically thieves.

“Throughout the course of the play Oliver ends up meeting the Maylies, a more upper class mother and daughter, who look after him. Dr Losberne becomes Oliver’s teacher.

“Oliver’s birth brother, who’s trying to ruin Oliver because he wants his inheritance, is called Monks.

“He’s quite an evil character and he ends up getting caught.

“Oliver ends up in a happy ending. He gets his inheritance and is living with nice people.”

Bailey says while the story is “fairly dark” the theatre is promoting the production as suitable for children aged nine years old and above.

“There are a couple of snippets of songs in there to lighten it up. It’s fun and there’s a lot of comedy in it.

“It’s a great opportunity for the kids to play real human character roles.”

Oliver Twist plays at 1.30pm and 4pm on May 27-28 at Harlequin Musical Theatre, 563 Pakuranga Road, Howick.

Tickets cost $10. To book, phone 09 537 4943 or email hcyt@xtra.co.nz.

Being performed also at the same location is the HCYT production of Snow White and the Dwarves of the Black Forest. It’s for children aged four years old and above. Tickets cost $8.

It plays at 10am and 11.30am on May 27 and at 11am on May 28 and can be booked using the same email address and phone number.

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